The words teenager and patience are rarely uttered in one sentence. Adolescents are well-known for being irritable, impulsive, and craving instant gratification. According to the researchers from Berlin-based Max Planck Institute for Human Development, it is not because of hormones or that teens like to “act up.” It is simply because the structural connections inside their “amygdala” or emotional center of the brain, are still developing, limiting their ability to think ahead about the consequences of their actions.
The study that was published in the journal PNAS in May 2015 was led by researcher Wouter van den Bos. It involved 50 individuals between the ages of 8 and 25. Each volunteer was asked the same question – Would you rather have €20 now or €50 in a month? As expected, the impatient adolescents mostly opted for the instant cash.
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